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The 30-Day Minimalism Game

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Two fairly well-known guys in the minimalism movement are best friends Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus.  Back in 2009, they were typical, career-driven twenty-somethings conquering the world.  Until they weren’t.  They upended their lives in the pursuit of something more.  As part of their mission, The Minimalists started a social media challenge called The 30-Day Minimalism Game (#MinsGame).

minimalist succulent in white pot

Basically, you rally some like-minded friends and start getting rid of all the stuff weighing your life down.  The first day of the month, you remove one item from your home.  The second day, two items, the third day three, and so on.  The goal is to minimize stuff from your home equivalent to the date on the calendar until the end of the month.  The winner is whoever accomplishes the daily purge goal the longest.

I am always up for a new challenge, so I found three trusty gals that were willing to undertake the challenge with me.  If we all succeeded in the challenge, we would collectively rid our homes of 1,860 items!

Fast forward a few weeks….

minimalist console table

Minimalism Game Results

Well, ridding our homes of items proved to be more challenging than we anticipated. Following the terms of the experiment exactly, one friend lost on day 3.  A few of us made it to mid-month, but no one completed the entire month.

In retrospect, I don’t think it’s that we were unmotivated or unwilling to part with stuff.  I think the biggest problem came down to the structure of the 30-day minimalism game.  As busy moms of young children, our days can be unpredictable.  If you missed a day or didn’t get the items out of your house, you technically lost the game according to the rules outlined by The Minimalists.

My 30-Day Minimalism Game Takeaways

While I may have failed this challenge, I have had success with others.  Not every challenge or system will work for every person.  The daily deadline was too intense for the amount of time I had available to dedicate to the task in this season of my life. However, a daily deadline might be just the right thing for someone else to get motivated.

If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that minimalism is a personal journey.  Not every tip will work for all folks.  People have different levels of decluttering comfort and different “sweet spots” of contentment.  Part of the adventure is figuring out what works for you.  You’ll never know if a challenge or experiment will work until you give it a try.

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Onto the Next Minimalism Challenge

Not long after this, I decided to tackle parting with 2,018 items in 2018.  I not only surpassed that goal, but I loved the challenge of trying to #decluttertheyear so much that I decided to go for decluttering 2,019 items in 2019! In the first month of 2019, I decluttered over 700 items (which surpassed the 465 I would have decluttered in the 30-day minimalism game).

I think my success can be attributed to the flexibility of the challenge.  With the goal being all year long, I could focus my energies here and there versus needing to reach a certain amount daily.  I might rid my home of 300 items in a weekend and then not get rid of a thing for another week or more.  Being a mom of young ones, I needed that flexibility.

And, since the goal was stretched out over the year, I didn’t feel like a failure if I didn’t do anything for a few days or weeks.  But, that’s what works for me.

For those that need the motivation of a daily challenge, or could benefit from the intensity of a daily requirement, I would definitely recommend giving the 30-day minimalism game a go.

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